Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

Transforming into a water dancer

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"The secret to happiness is freedom...And the secret to freedom is courage" -Thucydides Beast cancer survivor “My name is Laurie. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34 that was already metastatic to my bones. Water has always meant freedom to me. It means the freedom to go somewhere new. A new place to spend a vacation, free from everyday worries. A new place to be creative, free from gravity. A new place in my mind, free from self judgement.” Please read her beautiful story and more images from here. Since after the underwater session, she's been going back to the water 5-6 times a week to enjoy being submerged. I'm happy to hear the result of underwater transformative session changed her life style. She got so many pretty...

Los Angeles 2017

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Let's go to Los Angeles!! It's been awhile- WooHoo- I love traveling! First stop, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary! One of my bucket list to see beautiful wolves! Hmm...The sign needs to upgrade... It was SO hot out (more than 100F). Wolf said, "Human time..(sigh) my early shift begins with these two...(sigh)" "HEY, heeey human, where are my carrots!!??" I brought carrots (organic!) for them but I was not allowed to feed them at that time :( "HEY human, got it, got it! I'll pose...where are my carrots?" The guide repeatedly told us they are not dogs. But you know....I want one!!! His big face didn't fit for selfie- "Carrots?" There was one more human friendly wolf. She is 15 years old, an oldest wolf at the sanctuary. "Oh hey, human:)" She was a friendly grandma. Just like this! I was so happy to meet 11 wolves. They were rescued from hunting in Alaska and from abusive owners. We found a cafe 247 for lunch. Home made Chiiiips! As soon as I got to the Airbnb, I had to jump in the water to rejuvenate! Next stop, Natural History Museum! Next stop, Anime Expo!!!! Check out the VIZ Media Blog! SO MANY people! I heard it was twice much bigger than last year! At the Food Wars panel, the creator, Yūto Tsukuda had to challenge some American snacks: Spicy Cheetos! It was a huge surprise for me when they played a manga trailer I worked on!!! I got super emotional seeing and hearing fans' reactions. The creator loved it, that means a lot! Thank you so much!...

Medical conference 2017

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It was one of my dreams to be part of medical/health field. My work was displayed at a medical conference!! They look gorgeous!! Thank you for your continuous support! ガン関連のメディカルコンフェレンスで 私の作品とバックストーリーがギャラリーに飾られました!3年連続での サポートありがとうございます😊!! Please read a story of a breast cancer survivor, JoAnn. Please read a story of a stomach cancer survivor, Steve, a breast cancer survivor Kim and a testicular cancer survivor Scott Please read a story of a thyroid cancer survivor Pauline and a brain cancer survivor...

What does WATER mean to you?

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A fashion model/free diver, David Langlois says, "Freedom. Being in the water make me think more about the present." An underwater Model, Linnea Snyderman says, "Being underwater is home. It is where I feel at peace and no worries from the outside world can penetrate." A model/free diver, Everlayn Borges says, "Water is the essence of infinite LIFE in every sense of the word." A competitive pro free diver, Ashleigh Baird says, "Water is pure joy. When I'm free diving it offers a way to quiet my mind and look deep within and listen to my body. It's a meditative experience, and nothing else does that for...

UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama

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UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama and an extra stop in Florida I've been scuba diving for over 12 years and I became a scuba dive master in Venezuela. I started taking photographs of fishes and marine life. And one day, I saw Zena Holloway's work, Swansong, I instantly thought I want to be like her. Over 10 years later, I found out she was leading a workshop organized by Aquaspirit in Bimini, Bahama! If I miss this opportunity, I might not see her again. I finally decided to sign up to meet her in person! A dream came true! I did a mini interview with Zena at the end of the workshop. She gave us a great advice! SO... my adventure began from this huge canvas... #oceanhug Arrived in Bimini, Bahama! I cried looking at this crystal clear water!!!! It looks like a painting... SO GORGEOUSSSsssss!! The sky is not covered by any buildings. I felt like I was in the planetarium. If you have guts to walk up stairs on these. I'll give you $5. Don't worry, it's super safe. Rainbow before the sunset... aaand this is the place I stayed. At welcome dinner to meet Zena, other photographers and models! People are coming from 11 different countries!!?? So awesome to connect through our passions. AND I ran into Tammy from San Diego!! When I photographed 3 cancer survivors in San Diego last year, I got to rent her pool! Thank you so much for supporting my my project! It was a great night! The food...

Academy of Art University

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Back in 2001, I graduated from Academy of Art University as a New Media major. And few month ago I was interviewed by the editor from AAU and it was published! I was so happy to see the article! The article is online now! Please check it out! "Ever since she was a little girl, Erena Shimoda fantasized about being a mermaid and calling the ocean her home. As an adult, she felt like her childhood dream had almost come true the first time she went scuba diving during a trip to Honduras 14 years ago. "  - See more at:...

Florida Trip Report 2017

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I've never been to Florida before so I was super excited! I got all the good luck stickers on my bags and I was ready for the new adventure! I arrived in Orlando and drove 2 hrs north to meet my friend in Geinsville.  Jamaican jerk chicken was delicioius!! This town reminded me of CA.  I met a lot of cool people through my friend all night!  And it was actually COLD there!! The live band was awesome too! The next day, we went to Ichetucknee state park. And first thing I saw was this warning... I think I still have 2 arms and 2 legs... The spring was beautiful!! 72F all year long! The next early morning, I had a trip to see Manatees!! It was one of my bucket lists! It was a beautiful misty morning I saw them!!! They were so cute!! A post shared by Underwater_Beauty_SanFrancisco (@erenashimoda) on Feb 21, 2017 at 8:53am PST Then I went to Weechi Wachee to see mermaids!! This spring theatre is around for 65years! Beautiful show! I wanted to be a mermaid when I was little. This place is giving hopes and dreams for everyone. The next morning was the big day! I met a cancer survivor, Les at Devil's Den! This place is a magical spot! If you are interested in scuba diving, you should get an open water certificate from this place. The instructor, Don was so friendly and supportive to my project. I highly recommend this place! Les is 52 years old and was born and raised in Maryland. He lives in Florida...

Underwater Healer About Face in Florida!

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I'll be in Florida from 2/10-2/15! Arriving at night on the 10th and leaving early in the morning of the 15th. Super short trip but I want to make the best out of this trip! I'm excited! Originally, I was not going to work BUT that never happened for me :) I just LOVE working with cancer survivors, sharing stories and making beautiful memories together. Les is 52 years old and was born and raised in Maryland. He lives in Florida for the last 30 years. He is a 2 time cancer survivor (skin and lung cancer) He used to go scalloping every season. He says, "One reason I want to do this, if I can be truthful, is because I'm kind of worried about getting back underwater since I have only 1 1/2 lungs and no idea how long I can hold my breath anymore. The second reason is because I haven't done anything just for me since cancer took my life and I don't have any pictures of myself! I also want to make my daughters proud :)" Amber grew up in Hot Springs Arkansas and spent time in Ketchikan Alaska as a teenager. Then she lived in Alabama for 14 years until she moved to Florida. She was diagnosed with PTSD and Colorectal Cancer. She has also been left with a colostomy bag and that is a constant pull at her feelings of beauty and causes much doubt and sadness. She says, "I hope to have the opportunity to...

Gold Medal Olympian – Brenda Villa

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I had an underwater photo shoot with a water polo Olympian, Brenda Villa and I had an opportunity to do an interview with her! I feel so lucky!! What was your dream when you were a child? My first dream was to become a doctor or lawyer. However, I as I got older and became a better water polo player, water polo took over my life and lead me in a different direction. What was the relationship like with your brother? Was he your inspiration or somebody else? Parents? (I read that he was a water polo player too) As a younger sister, I followed my brother everywhere and wanted to do everything he did. I was lucky enough to play on the boys HS team with him and win a HS championship. I always wanted to be like him or get his approval. It was hard to get as a younger sister. What was like to play in a boys team being only a girl? (high school?) I know kids can be mean! My team was very supportive, I grew up playing with most of the boys. It usually was the opposition team that made comments and sometimes made me uncomfortable but my love for the game kept me playing. Are you coaching a team now? Right now, I coach a couple teams. I coach the HS girls at Castilleja School and I run a youth water polo team called the Menlo Mavericks. http://menloswim.com/belle-haven-pool/water-polo/menlo-mavericks/ You told me your happy place is underwater. Why? What does WATER mean...